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Whittier is a city at the head of the Passage Canal in the U.S. state of Alaska, about 58 miles southeast of Anchorage. The city is within the Valdez–Cordova Census Area. The 2015 population estimate was 214 people, almost all of whom live in a single building. Whittier is also a port for the Alaska Marine Highway.HistoryThe region now occupied by Whittier was once part of the portage route of the Chugach people native to Prince William Sound. Later, the passage was used by Russian and American explorers, and by prospecting miners during the gold rush. The nearby Whittier glacier was named for American poet John Greenleaf Whittier in 1915, and the town eventually took the name as well.During World War II, the United States Army constructed a military facility, complete with port and railroad near Whittier Glacier and named the facility Camp Sullivan. The spur of the Alaska Railroad to Camp Sullivan was completed in 1943 and the port became the entrance for United States soldiers into Alaska.The two huge buildings that dominate the town were built after World War II. The 14-story Hodge Building (now Begich Towers) was completed in 1957 and contains 150 two- and three-bedroom apartments plus bachelor efficiency units. Dependent families and Civil Service employees were moved into this efficient high-rise. The new Whittier School was connected by a tunnel at the base of the west tower so students could more easily and safely access school on days with bad weather. The building was named in honor of Colonel Walter William Hodge, who was a civil engineer and the commanding officer of 93rd Engineer Regiment on the Alcan Highway.Put Whittier at the heart of your travel plans by using our United States driving holiday planner.
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